The Dollmaker plot was actually a four-issued story arc and it ends here. Or does it? I don't know, guys. I never understood the story to begin with and there was nothing meaningful to it for me to latched onto intellectually and, most importantly, emotionally, so I received no kind of pay-off whatsoever once I closed the comic book and put it back in my bag, wondering why the fuck I even skipped eating breakfast to read it first.
After I had a well-deserved meal, I started writing the reviews for the last two issues of this plotline as quick and as coherent as I can manage even though I haven't been this pissed about a Batman story since Tomasi's colossal failure that is TERMINUS (a cardboard-box "villain" whose name I was hoping I will never write in my reviews ever again, but since I'm reviewing yet another shitty issue, it seems rather serendipitous to do so). This...just...EVERYTHING about this story was awkward and insipid. The artwork and the illustrations are superb, yes, but the story and the characters are incredibly, unbelievably inconsistent unless we're talking about their inconsistency being the only consistent thing about them. Nothing makes sense as soon as this issue finishes. There was so much anticlimactic bullshit that has happened at the end that the definition of 'butthurt' or 'nerd rage' may not even be enough to cover the range of emotions that has overtaken me.
There was no story. There were odd narrative boxes and weird dialogue that takes itself too seriously that it's laughable. There were so many amazingly drawn action sequences but with no nutritional substance in its story to back them up. Harvey Bullock is such a competent police officer (le gasp?) and the only character in this mumbo-jumbo parody of a Batman comic book who feels real even though he's just in the background, doing his job like a boss while everyone is outrageously cartoonish that I would have ripped the pages as I turned them one after another to witness the debauchery escalate until it just falls flat in a very disappointing crescendo. REALLY? AFTER ALL THAT EFFORT TO GET THROUGH THIS?
The Dollmaker's appearances are just misplaced in so many ways. The potentials were not realized to the fullest and his motivations are cliché at best. There was also this shoehorned character named Raju who should have been introduced two issues ago and not when he now conveniently serves a plot point. We were able to hints about the Penguin who will be the focal point after this story (predictably so) but it's a vital piece of information I had to ignore because I was too busy being annoyed by this issue in general. I mean, at the end of it all ,Batman does absolutely NOTHING to follow-up on the Dollmaker when he escaped. The Dollmaker who brainwashed a little girl, aided the Joker in the first issue, almost killed Jim Gordon--yeah, Batsy just gives him the longest headstart ever to the most non-existing chase ever and packs up his costume so he can go frolic with Charlotte Rivers, some current girlfriend of Bruce Wayne who has no impact on the events of the story in this issue I'm supposed to care about whatsoever.
You know, before I began typing this review, I was thinking that this should still be a recommended one because if you wasted your time reading the first three then at least solider on and finish everything but fuck it, reader. You deserve to keep your sanity. So I'm giving this turd of an issue the vehemence it earned.
NOT RECOMMENDED: 5/10